NEWS

‘Do Not Shift the Blame, Address It’

Responding to defamatory and racist comments by the SODELPA Member of Parliament openly to the local media, Mrs Vuniwaqa said Fiji had a serious issue to deal with as a nation. She said racist comments as such would not help in any shape or form in addressing the persistency and frequency of violence against Fijian women.
06 Jul 2019 14:20
‘Do Not Shift the Blame, Address It’
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa.

Minister for Women Mereseini Vuniwaqa says it is extremely sad and disgraceful for a man of MP Mosese Bulitavu’s standing to be so irresponsible in his comments on violence against women.

Responding to defamatory and racist comments by the SODELPA Member of Parliament openly to the local media, Mrs Vuniwaqa said Fiji had a serious issue to deal with as a nation. She said racist comments as such would not help in any shape or form in addressing the persistency and frequency of violence against Fijian women.

“What makes the statements made even more deplorable is that they are not supported by any data and they are coming from a national leader – a sitting Member of Parliament who has taken an oath to serve every Fijian without fear or favour!” she said.

“As a parliamentary member, Mr Bulitavu knows too well he has a nation watching and listening to him. Our youth and children are learning from him. Is that what he wants to teach those who look up to him for inspiration?

“And we wonder why there is no end to this societal cancer. This is exactly why! At first, a woman’s actions have been blamed for the violence perpetuated against her. Mr Bulitavu has broken new ground – he is blaming a whole community.

“The sad thing is Mr Bulitavu doesn’t seem to know that he is in fact turning a blind eye to the problem – we just have to blame anyone, but the perpetrator – to trivialise the issue of violence against women.”

Mrs Vuniwaqa said intimate partner violence against women remained a widespread human rights violation. She also said it was public health and social problem as it seriously undermined women’s physical, mental and social wellbeing.

“Our alarming statistics and daily news on violence against women speaks volumes,” Mrs Vuniwaqa said. “I join the Prime Minister in calling on every Fijian man and woman to stand up to and speak publicly against statements such as those made by Mr Bulitavu and to denounce violence against women for what it is, without shifting blame anywhere else, but on the perpetrator.”

Edited by Susana Tuilau

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

 

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